The most common method of deploying a customized version of Microsoft Office XP to a large number of users is to create an administrative installation point on a network server and have users run Setup from the installation point. This article describes how you can create an administrative installation point for deploying a customized version of Office XP.
Create an Office Administrative Installation Point
Creating an administrative installation point provides several advantages over installing Office from the Office XP CD-ROM and allows you to do the following:
Manage one set of Office files from a central location.
Create a standard Office configuration for all users.
Take advantage of flexible installation options.
Manage controlled upgrades of Office in the future.
To distribute Office from a network server, you must first install Office on the server that will host the administrative installation point. To do this, run Setup with the /a command-line option. Then you can customize your Office configuration before you run Setup on the users' computers.
To create the administrative installation point:
Create a share on a network server for the administrative installation point. The network share must have at least 650 megabytes (MB) of available hard disk space.
On a computer that has write access to the share, connect to the server share. The computer must be running a supported operating system: Microsoft Windows 2000 or later, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me), or Microsoft Windows 98.
Click Start, click Run, and then click Browse.
On the Office XP CD-ROM, double-click Setup.exe, and then add /a to the command line.
Type the organization name that you want to define for all users who install Office from this administrative installation point. Type the server and share that you created as the installation location.
Type the 25-character product key, and then click Next. You must type a valid product key when you create the administrative installation point. Users who install Office XP from this administrative image do not need to type the product key when they install Office XP or start an Office XP program for the first time.
Accept the end-user license agreement, and then click Install. By accepting the agreement here, you are accepting on behalf of all users who install Office from this administrative installation point.
NOTE: Setup copies the files from the Office XP CD-ROM to the administrative installation point, extracts the compressed cabinet (CAB) files, and creates a hierarchy of folders in the root folder of the share. The System Files Update is automatically included during an administrative installation.
When you install Office XP on Microsoft Windows 2000 and you set features to run from the network (Run from Network or Run All from Network), you must create your administrative installation point in a subfolder on the share, for example, \\server\share\admin_install_point\setup.exe. If Setup.exe is stored at the root of the share, the Office XP features do not run correctly.